Lessons learned from Nine’s ransomware nightmare

Nine CITO Damian Cronan and group director of IT security Celeste Lowe talk about the cyberattack and what changed at the organisation after.

In late March 2021, Australia’s largest media company Nine was rocked by a major ransomware attack, pushing its head of IT and newly appointed first head of cyber onto a true war footing.

Coming amid a sharp rise in cyberattacks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, several broadcast and other operations were seriously disrupted, while Nine’s shares fell by as much as 2.4% as news got to market.

Nine’s IT wake up to a ransomware attack

It was 2am on the morning of Sunday March 28 when Damian Cronan, Nine’s chief information and technology officer, took the call.

“[I received] a phone call from one of our senior security engineers, who basically advised me that there was every indication from what we were seeing at the moment that there was a major ransomware attack on foot within the night in the business,” he tells CSO Australia.

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